The Newfoundland based Broadway production Come From Away has increased in relevance after recent terrorist events in Canada.
Petrina Bromley, the only Newfoundlander in the upcoming Broadway run of Come From Away, says current events have made the impact of this musical even deeper.
“The resonance of the show has changed because of everything happening recently,” said Bromley when asked about the Quebec Mosque shooting that occurred on Jan. 29. “It’s so sad to think about.”
The Newfoundland town of Gander is home to a small international airport that took in over 6,500 people when 38 planes were grounded on its runways after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Come From Away is an emotional look at the relationships created among those stranded in Gander, and the locals who welcomed them during the difficult time.
The Mosque Shooting in Quebec was a terrorist attack, but under different circumstances than 9/11. It was a direct attack on a Muslim community in Quebec City that left six killed and 19 others injured.
“It just goes to show how little we learn from our past mistakes,” said Bromley.
Bromley auditioned for the musical almost three years ago. She says since there is so much negativity in the world right now, she feels fortunate to be a part of a production with such a positive message.
Oswald Fudge was a police officer in Gander during 9/11. He says he recalls the day the planes landed, but he had no worries about what would happen to all of the people coming off of them.
“As they were landing I remember looking at the planes, 38 of them,” said Fudge. “Did I panic? No, I did not. I knew the people of the town and the region, I just knew it was going to be OK.”
Fudge is being portrayed in the production by actor Geno Carr.
“I think that we are all looking for some good, something to take our minds off what is happening in the world, and to realize that there are good people out there.”
“I’m just so excited to see it on stage,” said Fudge. “Knowing that there is a character called Oz Fudge, and that the play not only recognizes what I had done, but the whole community and surrounding areas.”
Come From Away had several showings in Gander last year. After attending one of the shows, Fudge met a woman who had been working in the Pentagon when that building was attacked, killing 125 people.
“She was the only one who survived in her office,” said Fudge. “Her daughter convinced her to go to the show the first time and this was her sixth time seeing it. She said that the play was helping her to heal.”
Still working as a police officer in Gander, Fudge is travelling to New York City later this year to see the play on Broadway.
“I think that we are all looking for some good, something to take our minds off what is happening in the world, and to realize that there are good people out there,” Fudge said.
“I’m nothing but proud to be a Newfoundlander.”